Ying and Yang – A Balanced Chowder For Vegan and Not-So Vegan

One soup recipe that I have been meaning to create for quite sometime is a chowder that is lactose-free (no milk or cream) and vegan for myself and not so vegan for my husband with salmon. I have fallen off the vegetarian wagon lately and not sure if meat is my thing once again. I feel so much better sticking to vegetarian.  I have made this chowder in the past with bacon and wine, but for last night I wanted to make it a lighter healthy bowl of soup.

The Verdict of Vegan and Not-so Vegan Chowder

This chowder is very hearty with crusty toasty bread and is milk/cream-free (I used Almond Milk for the creaminess). I did not feel like I missed any of the cream, the almond milk worked very well. And the base had just enough heat with the crushed chiles and the serano chile. This is a perfect ying yang soup recipe to make two people happy, one wanting vegan and the other not. Was very good as left overs today!

Vegan Chowder Base

Vegan Chowder Ingredients:

  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots (approx 1 cup), diced small
  •  2 celery (approx 1 cup), diced small
  • 1 serano chile, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 large red pepper (approx 1 cup), diced small
  • 4 medium red potatoes (approx 2.5 – 3 cups), diced small
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced small
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red chiles
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 3 teaspoon chives, finely sliced
  • dash of salt and pepper

Optional for your guest or husband who may not want to go vegan as bad as you do:

  • 1/5  pack of wild smoked salmon,  torn or cut in smaller pieces.

Vegan and Not-so Vegan Chowder Instructions:

  1. In a large pan, over medium, heat olive oil up.
  2. Add in shallot, garlic, carrot, celery, serano, crushed chile, red & yellow peppers and potatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in vegetable broth, tomato, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Add the almond milk, lemon juice, and thyme to pot. Heat through until potatoes are soft, but do not boil at this point. Reduce heat to low – simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle soup in bowls
  6. Garnish with chives.

Optional for your guest or husband who may not want go vegan as bad as you do:

  1. Distribute the smoked salmon to the top of bowl before the chives.

Soup Mistress Rating for Vegan and Not-so Vegan Chowder:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5
Presentation: (4.25/5) 

Taste: (4.25/5) 

Velvety Creamless Cauliflower Soup

Velvety Creamless Cauliflower Soup

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The Completed Velvety Creamless Cauliflower Soup

I just realized that I have not yet shared my favorite cauliflower soup recipe on this blog! This is one recipe I can basically make in my sleep.  I already made it this year 8 times, and it is only the end of February. Normally, I really don’t like cauliflower served by itself (being steamed, raw or stir fried), but I do LOVE cauliflower in soup!

Did you know that cauliflower is low in fat, low in carbs but high in dietary fiber, folate, water, and vitamin C, possessing a high nutritional density? Also cauliflower contains several phytochemicals, common in the cabbage family, that may be beneficial to human health. Read more about cauliflower here.

The Verdict of Velvety Creamless Cauliflower Soup? This soup is so easy peasy to make! When blended, it comes out very velvety smooth. The soup seems creamy – some people may think that it has cream or milk, but it does not. The lemon juice adds a fresh zip to it. The tiny diced tomatoes and sprinkled truffle oil add an elegant taste on top. I find myself craving this soup from time to time and that is why I have made it so many times. Simple soup, yet very flavorful and filling indeed!

Velvety Creamless Cauliflower Soup Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 cup white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 cups (medium-large head) of cauliflower, chopped
  • 4-5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • dash salt and pepper
  • white truffle oil (drizzled on top)

Velvety Creamless Cauliflower Soup Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute for about 5 minutes (or until onions are soft).
  2. Add cauliflower, saute for 2 additional minutes.
  3. Add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and gently simmer 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Working in batches, transfer soup to blender or food processor; puree until smooth. Be careful with the hot liquids.
  5. Return soup to saucepan over low heat. Thin with more broth if desired.
  6. Stir in chives and lemon juice, stir, cook just until heated through (do not boil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls. Top with finely chopped tomato and drizzle truffle oil on top. Serve immediately.

Soup Mistress Rating for Velvety Creamless Cauliflower Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (5/5)
Presentation: (3.5/5) 
Taste: (4.5/5)